The joys of a prep shed

We’ve been able to use our new prep shed for the past few weeks, and boy is it an improvement. Though I only have half the roof on, and haven’t started the walls, we’ve got the first sink, counter, and table set up allowing us to wash and pack produce in a proper setting. It’s made a huge difference to our efficiency to not have to haul all the produce up to the house.

Above is a basic view through the shed back into the market garden. Produce comes in from the east, often harvested directly into tubs of cold water (in the case of lettuce, greens, radishes, and so on). We can then wash and sort items on the steel table in foreground (purchased for a song at a restaurant auction) before packing into lidded containers that are stored at proper temperature in old refrigerators until market.

Above is part of last week’s radish harvest in progress. I’ve washed and sorted all six varieties, and am about to start building the diverse bundles that customers have found very attractive and interesting. Doing this kind of work outdoors yet under shade and protection is just fantastic. When the shed is truly finished, we’ll have a series of stations like this, along with a great deal of shelving and storage space for produce, tools, and more. Having this close workspace also improves the quality of the produce, as we can get it chilled, washed, and packed that much faster, thus ensuring the long shelf life that folks have repeatedly told us our produce provides. Good stuff all around. Plus, made from all on-farm cedar lumber, it just looks danged pretty.

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